Forget the Apple AirPods and Google Pixel Buds, these are great earphones

Forget the Apple AirPods and Google Pixel Buds, these are great earphones

It managed to block enough of the screeching sounds of the London Underground without me needing to up volume into red. If I had to guess I’d say the Buds 2 offer the same level of ANC as the Buds Live, but with a better passive noise cancelling fit so they do a better job overall.

It’s not just a feature on a piece of paper to beat rivals, ANC on the Galaxy Buds 2 does a decent job. Persistent, low-frequency sounds are blocked and I couldn’t hear my partner watching TV at a lower volume, especially if I had some music playing.


  • A good barometer of a pair of earbuds’s performance is how often I get back to them, even after my review. Right now it’s the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. Check out my full review here, but for the TL / DR crowd: these headphones cleverly straddle a balance of quality, price, and features.

  • Its earphone season. My review list is growing and it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of the embargoes I’ve signed up to. But that also means I have a good idea of ​​what is and isn’t good in technology right now because I’m switching between so many devices.

Of course, you can buy very expensive headsets, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4, which outperform the competition in terms of noise cancellation and sound quality. But at $ 280, they’re for an avid enthusiast who won’t mind seeing that money fade away.

This is harder to do than you think.

For more price-conscious buyers, the Buds 2 offer more than their similarly priced rivals.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), for example, isn’t available on Apple AirPods (and likely won’t be available on AirPods 3) or Google Pixel Buds, on both 2020 and A-Series models.

The prevailing idea behind this for manufacturers is that it is a premium feature that should be reserved for the premium model. But Samsung thinks it’s better to offer a lower version of ANC (compared to the noise-canceling capabilities of the Galaxy Buds Pro) and save other features for higher-tier earbuds.